February 2019 News Letter

Posted on February 7, 2019

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Charlie Troop 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment
Thirsty-Six News Letter
February 2019

The following is a list of Brothers that were Killed in Action in the month of February 1966 -1971

Horace Giddens 2- 2-1968
John Suydam 2-12-1968
Steven Seigler 2-13-1971

These Brave Troopers can only live by us Always Remembering them and Never Forgetting them.

The following Troopers/Troopettes have birthdays this month:

Levin Cordero 2-1 Little Brother
Gerald Toman 2-3
Beverly Knowlen 2-3
Butch Mundy 2-5
Joanne Gonderman 2-5 GSFM
John Craig 2-8
Joe Crispino 2-11
Darwin Heffner 2-14
Hiesook Sacca 2-16
Sandy McMichael 2-20
Ron Peffer GSFM 2-20
Barry Sipple 2-23
Jolie Brazier 2-23 Little Sweetheart
Debby Baker GSFM 2-26
Jacob Bess 2-24 Little Brother

The following Troopers and Troopettes have anniversaries during the Month of February:

Julian and Sarah Beth Johnston 2-1-63 56 years
Don and Jo Coshey 2-18-67 52 years
John (Jake) and Beth Jelich 2-12 GSFM
Dave and Alice Davidson 2-14
Billie and Dorris Williams 2-15-51 67 years
John and Hiesook Sacca 2-21-76 43 years

Kurt Schatz is now the doing the 1/9th Cavalry section of the Saber New Paper. If you have a story that you would like to share contact Kurt. If you don’t have his contact information and would like to contact him let me know.

I would like to explain the Cup and Card Fund. This is a project that Carol and I started and fully fund. We do this for those who come to our reunions. I wish I could afford it for everyone but I can’t. I am in the middle of coming up with “New” Charlie Troop Sympathy Cards. We have sent out many cups and I have never had anyone say they did not want them. The cup includes a photograph of the couple (this can be husband and wife, Live in companion, Father and daughter or father and son. It also include the three types of helicopters that we being flown while the Trooper was in Charlie Troop and a picture of him in Vietnam (if I have one). If you have a picture of yourself in Vietnam and you would like to compare to the one I have t decide which one you would prefer, send me a private email with the picture. I will check it against the picture that I have. If it is the same one, I will let you know. If not, I will send you a copy of the one I have and then you can let me know.

Charlie Troop provides a wreath or spray whether it is the Trooper or Troopette/GSFM. The sympathy card I am making is from all of us.

I would like to ask one more time, if you have a picture that is special to you of you and your spouse or if she has one that is special to her, please send me a digital copy. If not, I will use the one I have.

Many of you know about the “Night Ambush” conducted on November 4th. Some of you do not. I would like to talk a little bit about that ambush. The 1/9 Cav was given a mission to establish an ambush near the entrance to the Ia Drang Valley. LTC Stockton decided that he would use a “Scamble”. This is where A Troop, B Troop and C Troop would have their Blues under the leadership of one of the Troop Commanders. In this case, it was Major Bob Zion. LTC Stockton told Division that he would not do it unless he could have a Line unit platoon on standby under his control. Finally, BG Knowles Assistant Division Commander, agreed and placed a platoon from 1/8th Cav under Bullwhip ‘s control. Major Zion was also given a group of Mountainyards (SP). A Troop was used to be the LZ/PZ security force while B Troop, C Troop and the mountainyards would actually set up the ambushes.

Captain Chuck Knowlen, the C Troop Blue Platoon Leader, set up his platoon at a pre-determined location. Capt Knowlen had two troopers who had colds. He left them at base camp because he knew silence was the key. He set up his ambush and knowing that silence was a necessity he had commo wire run from one Squad Leader to another with pre-determined tugs as a means of communication. Charlie Troop heard an enemy element coming into their Kill Zone. Capt Knowlen gave the alert signal by tugging on the commo wire. The Kill Zone is an area where once the enemy moves into it, they can be engaged with every weapons available. In this case that meant Claymore Mines, M-16 rifles, M-60 machine guns, and hand grenades. Capt Knowlen knew that this was just the beginning of a much larger force. Just before getting there, the enemy decided to take a break.

Later the enemy once again decided to move forward. After the lead element went through and the weapons section entered to Kill Zone, Capt Knowlen gave the signal to initiate the ambush by blowing his Claymore. Knowing that his ambush site would be attacked quickly by an overwhelming size enemy element, Capt Knowlen gave to signal to return to the PZ. On the way back, one Trooper got lost. Upon hearing this Capt Knowlen said he would go back and find the Trooper. He quickly left the PZ and went back and found that Trooper and brought him back to the PZ. Major Zion had his Blues return to the PZ as well. They set up a perimeter and prepared for an assault. They didn’t have to wait long. Knowing that they were facing a much much bigger enemy force, Major Zion called back to Bullwhip Six and requested the platoon from the 1/8th Cav. LTC Stockton radioed Division and requested he be allowed to insert the platoon. BG Knowles (Division Assistance Commander) denied the request. LTC Stockton once again told BG Knowles that Major Zion said if the platoon wasn’t inserted very soon there wouldn’t be anyone alive by morning. Once again LTC Stockton was denied. LTC Stockton told BG Knowles that it was to late the Company was on it’s way. CW3 Jim Reid, Platoon Leader of Charlie Troop Lift Platoon) led his helicopters out to the LZ. He knew, as well as did all of his Pilots, that they would be landing into a PZ/LZ under heavy fire from the enemy. This did not stop them at all. The Platoon was inserted and all of the Blues were extracted. During this operation, SFC Florendo Pascal was Killed in Action.

Everyone of the Troopers who participated in this operations are Heroes. None more then Captain Charles Knowlen, CW3 James Reid and his team of Pilots and crew members, Major Billie Williams and LTC John B. Stockton who was relieved of his Command for his actions that night. The division’s reasoning behind his relief was that there had never been a night time insertion into a Hot LZ and that LTC John B. Stockton gave the order to have it done. Or did he?

So far we have 16 Troopers+ signed up for this reunion. We also have Ava La Chance and Karen Schwarz signed up.

As each of you know, Carol’s Mom passed away last month. Carol and I can not express enough the warm and loving comfort that each of your emails meant to us.

We would like the opportunity to repay each of you but we can only do this if you will let us know when something good or bad happens to you and/or your families. Let me know when something happens in your life. It can be something as simple as your grandchild graduating from High School or as sad as a death in the family.

I recently received a comment on my blog from a Josephine Herring. She said her DAD SERVED IN Charlie Troop from December 1966 to September 1967. That he was a Helicopter Mechanic. She also said that he had served in Alpha Troop prior to coming to C Troop. I am asking if any of you Troopers that served during that time remember him and would be willing to talk to her. If so please let me know. If you don’t want to talk to her for any reason but you do remember him, tell me what you know and I will pass it on. Thank you.

Once again, when we got home today, we collected many cards from our Cav Family showing their love for at this time. Carol and I truly want to take this time and thank each one of you. Your Love and Support made this time in our lives much easier.

Posted in: News Letters